Springtime equals Storm Time in West Texas

Springtime equals Storm Time in West Texas

April 16, 2018

Springtime in West Texas means Mother Nature is going to be full of surprises.

One day wildflowers are blooming along the roadside and green leaves are beginning to sprout from trees.

The next day, or maybe that same day, you glance at the sky and freeze in your tracks. A tornado is headed your way. Tornadoes are inevitable this time of year, not just in West Texas, but anywhere you happen to be. With that in mind, following are some tips and websites for helpful information that could save your life, plus some myths about tornadoes.

The best defense against a tornado, or other severe weather, is to be prepared. A good place to start is by signing up for CodeRed, the emergency alert system. Signing up is free and easy on the city’s website, click here to register.

Once signed up, you will automatically get a phone call whenever severe weather is approaching.

The next step is to circle April 28-30 on your calendar. Those are the dates that the state of Texas is offering an Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday. There is no limit to the number of qualifying items each person can buy. To find a complete list of eligible items, as well as those that aren’t eligible, go to Emergengy Supplies Sales Tax Holiday.

A few things that qualify are portable generators, emergency ladders, batteries for electronics, and first aid kits. A few things that don’t qualify are vehicle batteries, camping stoves, tents, chainsaws, and plywood.

An essential part of being prepared is to have a family emergency plan. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a handy checklist on its website.

The emergency plan is outlined under three headings: Collect, Share, Practice. A reminder from the agency is that creating the plan starts with a simple question, “What if?” Once the “what if” happens, it’s too late to come up with a plan. It should be created now and kept in a safe place so that all family members have access to it.

The FEMA website also cautions that “communications networks, such as mobile phones and computers, could be unreliable during disasters, and electricity could be disrupted. Planning in advance will help ensure that all the members of your household—including children and people with disabilities...know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency.”

And now for some myths about tornadoes. If you have lived in Texas for very long, you probably have heard some of them and may even swear they are true. Just to be on the safe side, get familiar with these myths and realize that is exactly what they are. The information is from the website, howstuffworks.com. Author Clint Pumphrey compiled the myths of surviving a tornado and has an interesting explanation of each.

 

Ten Myths About Surviving a Tornado

10. A Big City Will Protect You

9. An Underpass Is a Safe Place

8. You're Safest in a Room's Southwest Corner

7. Open Your Windows to Equalize Pressure

6. Don't Worry if You're in the Mountains

5. You Can Outrun a Tornado in Your Car

4. Trailer Parks Aren't Safe Because They Attract Tornadoes

3. Big Box Stores Are Safe Shelters

2. Rest Easy at Night or in Winter

1. Weather Forecasts Won't Help You

 

Content provided by: Loretta Fulton
Content editor: Mary Cooksey,
2-1-1 Texas A Call for Help